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The Brian Ferguson Interview

Thursday, March 25, 2021

FAIR and "Neo-racism'

NHAI co-author Gregory Cochran expressing
his contempt for anthropologist R. Brian Ferguson

for daring to notice that NHAI is a bunch of BS.

According to Eugene Volokh, a Koch employee, the goal of FAIR, which I wrote about recently, is litigation. 

Volokh quotes the FAIR site:

FAIR supports students, teachers, and employees who are being compelled to affirm principles with which they disagree, who are stopped from expressing their true views, and who are being punished and silenced if they do not comply. To that end, FAIR is building a nationwide network of independent attorneys who can offer advice and, if necessary, pursue litigation. If you are a lawyer with civil litigation experience and would like to join FAIR's legal network, please contact letitia@fairforall.org.

As always with this kind of thing, the issue is how far they are willing to stand by people and the principles with which those people disagree. I think we can rule out Nazis - I doubt FAIR will come to the legal aid of a Nazi who was fired for publishing a manifesto on the company web site in which they declare that Jews likely can't do work for the company as well as non-Jews, due to biologically-innate tendencies. 

Although I suspect the FAIR Advisors - a right-leaning group that includes Trump supporters, Koch employees and race science supporters - would gladly stand by someone making the same claim about women, in place of Jews, as several of them did in the case of the James Damore memo

But some of the Advisors believe that there are innate biological differences between Jews and everybody else - Andrew Sullivan is clearly still a believer in the Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence (NHAI) hypothesis, as can be seen in a relatively recent interview published by the New York Times:

But he also can’t quite stop himself, even as I sat there wishing he would. “Let’s say Jews. I mean, just look at the Nobel Prize. I’m just saying — there’s something there, I think. And I’m not sure what it is, but I’m just not prepared to accept the whole thing is over.” 

Steven Pinker also seems to be a fan, still, of NHAI as seen in his joining with other Koch-connected individuals to complain that Bret Stephens was criticized for citing NHAI as a reference in one of his NYTimes op-eds, and the citation was redacted.

Anthropologist R. Brian Ferguson debunked the NHAI paper, a fact that Pinker and other NHAI supporters resolutely ignore. Although it did lead to Cochran insulting Ferguson on a few occasions, without, of course, any attempt to address Ferguson's points.

Racists believed in Jewish intellectual superiority long before Harpending and Cochran came along. As segregationist Henry E Garrett wrote in the notoriously racist Mankind Quarterly in 1961:

...By almost any criterion, the Jews have produce a disproportionate number of intellectually gifted persons and this despite the handicaps under which they have often lived and worked. Did "culture" alone produce these outstanding men or was there better native endowment to begin with?
I think it's safe to say that the current approach at least the approach for in recent decades was to deny the existence of intelligence. I mentioned the Mismeasure of Man as the foremost example to deny the existence of genetically distinct human groups. There is a widespread myth that there is no such thing as race whatsoever that there are that it's purely a social construction and to call the people who don't do this Nazis but on the other hand there is a quotation I don't know who's responsible for it: reality is what refuses to go away when I stop believing in it.

I thought of that while reading the FAIR web site's glossary of terms which includes this FAIR neologism:

neo-racism noun
neo-rac·ism | \ nē-ō-ˈrā-ˌsi-zəm 
1a. : a belief that race is a real and inescapable social construct that determines an individual’s identity, agency, beliefs, ability, or culture, such that members of different race groups can never understand each other due to intrinsic and insurmountable cultural differences.

1b. : prejudice, discrimination, stereotyping, or antagonism directed against a person or people based on this belief.

2 : discrimination, behavior or attitudes toward individuals or groups that reflect and foster the belief that members of some race groups are permanently subordinate to members of other race groups.

It's a curious insertion "a real and inescapable social construct." Why not write "...a belief that race determines an individual’s identity, agency..." What is the point of inserting a clause about social construct? Wouldn't the belief be racist without that inclusion?

Ah, but that's where the "neo" comes in. I think it's likely some number of FAIR advisors - foremost Andrew Sullivan and Steven Pinker - want to suggest that the belief in biological race has no negative implications - it's those who believe race is a social construct who are the real racists. 

If that is the case, it's truly sleazy, but sleaziness is the hallmark of race science, as discussed recently in the New Yorker:

In 2020, a paper appeared in the journal Psychological Science that examined how I.Q. was related to a range of socioeconomic measures for countries around the world. Unfortunately, the paper was based on a data set of national I.Q. estimates co-published by the English psychologist Richard Lynn, an outspoken white supremacist. Although we should be able to assess Lynn’s scientific contributions independently of his personal views, his data set of I.Q. estimates contains some suspiciously unrepresentative samples for non-European populations. For instance, the estimate for Somalia is based on one sample of child refugees stationed in a camp in Kenya. The estimate for Haiti is based on a sample of a hundred and thirty-three rural six-year-olds. And the estimate for Botswana is based on a sample of high-school students tested in South Africa in a language that was not their own. Indeed, the psychologist Jelte Wicherts demonstrated that the best predictor for whether an I.Q. sample for an African country would be included in Lynn’s data set was, in fact, whether that sample was below the global average. Psychological Science has since retracted the paper, but numerous other papers and books have used Lynn’s data set.

The last part is especially important - in spite of a retraction, in spite of the obvious problems with Lynn's data, his work is still being used. Just as NHAI is still being defended by Pinker and Sullivan.

And that's why race science is not actually science, but a blatant attempt to "biologize inequality" as anthropologist Marvin Harris said.

Monday, March 22, 2021

The Human Strategy: How Green the Revolution

The Pinkerite mission requires focus on the race science swillers of the Intellectual Dark Web, Quillette and related organizations like the ironically named Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism  (FAIR) which includes as Advisors two of the most prominent race science promoters, Steven Pinker and Andrew Sullivan, plus Megyn "Jesus was white" Kelly.

But sometimes it's good to focus on the good guys, like anthropologists who offer alternatives to sociobiology and evolutionary psychology which are the bases of the IDW belief system. In particular anthropologists who are influenced by "infrastructural determinism" which is the key to cultural materialism, a research strategy developed and promoted by anthropologist Marvin Harris, a huge influence on Pinkerite. I've interviewed two of his former pupils, anthropologists R. Brian Ferguson and Maxine Margolis

Marvin Harris died almost 20 years ago now, but his work is hugely important and I refer people to his books whenever I can. Last year another former Harris student, anthropologist David Price organized a guide to Harris' papers at the Smithsonian and through that I discovered that Harris had written a column called "The Human Condition" for Natural History Magazine in 1972. The column entries are available on Archive.org but are hard to find so I'm finding them and posting them on this web site. I've shared three so far:

It's been awhile since I posted one and so figure it's time.

"How Green the Revolution," published in the June/July issue, discusses the problems of industrial farming associated with the Green Revolution, which led not only to pesticides poisoning the environment and the dangers of monoculture, but also economic changes that drove farmers off their land and into cities. Harris focuses on the Philippines which was in the early years of the disastrous reign of corrupt dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Helen Pluckrose, James Lindsay and Peter Boghossian: shameless weasels

3 stooges of right-wing griftery

There have been other debunkings of the Pluckrose, Lindsay and Boghossian hoax grift, but new debunkings are appreciated, and the latest one published by Haaretz is a welcome addition to the genre.

Mikael Nilsson's piece 'Mein Kampf' and the 'Feminazis': What the Hitler Hoax Really Reveals About 'Woke' Academia – and Its Critics says...

According to their own account, the writers took parts of the chapter and inserted feminist "buzzwords"; they "significantly changed" the "original wording and intent” of the text to make the paper "publishable and about feminism." An observant reader might ask: what could possibly remain of any Nazi content after that? But no one in the media, apparently, did.

Indeed, in public, the trio constantly downplayed the amount of re-writing they did to the original text. On Joe Rogan’s podcast in October 2018, Lindsay described how they'd "modified the words and added theory around it so that it would fly," and in another interview explained that this was to "get past plagiarism." 

Chapter 12, he noted, included sentences like: "This is why we need the Nazi Party, and [this is] what is expected of people who are going to be part of it." What did they change? "We took that out [the Nazi party reference] and replaced it with ‘intersectional feminism.’" What's left is an entirely anodyne sentence, stripped of any identifiable Nazi vestiges. Hardly "owning the grievance warriors."

So what did the text in the article accepted by Affilia actually look like? Was it, as Fox News claimed, a "feminist Mein Kampf", suggesting men should be treated the same way as Hitler victimized Jews?

It is surprising, to say the least, that none of the journalists reporting on the controversy actually bothered to compare the two texts. If they'd done so, they would have found that the Affilia article didn't contain anything that could be recognized as "Mein Kampf" even by a Hitler expert, let alone a lay person.

The article makes the case even more strongly after that, you should read it. The piece also notes how much the 3 stooges were loved by the Intellectual Dark Web:

What is clear is that the hoax and its controversy propelled Boghossian and his co-writers into the media limelight, big time, with multiple article in the mainstream press and a particularly warm welcome from right-leaning platforms: Dave Rubin’s show The Rubin Report and Peterson’s own YouTube channel, but also from more centrist outlets like Joe Rogan’s podcast.

Boghossian deepened his longstanding allyship with right-wing provocateur, Andy Ngo, and won a phalanx of new fans from Richard Dawkins to Bari Weiss, Andrew Sullivan to Megyn Kelly.

Please note Weiss, Sullivan and Megyn Kelly are also Advisors of FAIR. As is, of course, Steven Pinker.

One more point - Nilsson says: 

It is surprising, to say the least, that none of the journalists reporting on the controversy actually bothered to compare the two texts. If they'd done so, they would have found that the Affilia article didn't contain anything that could be recognized as "Mein Kampf" even by a Hitler expert, let alone a lay person.

It's no surprise that the right-wing media didn't compare the two texts - they certainly weren't going to look a grift horse in the mouth. 

The real shanda was the mainstream press that promoted the grift without question. But this is the same media that refuses to ask Steven Pinker about his decade-long support for professional racist Steve Sailer. Pinker no longer talks about Sailer, but Sailer still has Charles Murray proudly in his corner.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Bo Winegard admits he's a racist.

Quillette's Bo Winegard has been an obvious racist since he said wanting to preserve a country's racial composition wasn't racist.

In case anybody wants to argue this doesn't make him a racist, he decided to call himself a racist in public, albeit with a synonym, "ethnoculturally conservative" which he misspelled enthoculturally.

Quillette is a publication dedicated to race science and to racism. Not only is Winegard listed as a member of the Quillette team, but eugenicist Toby Young is an associate editor

If you publish in Quillette you make it clear you are comfortable with that.

More about Quillette's ethnocultural conservatism in my two part series:

How conservative and white supremacist is Quillette? Part 1

How conservative and white supremacist is Quillette? Part 2

Thursday, March 11, 2021

More evidence of the looting of Black wealth

As this article in the NYTimes says:

Both Mr. Bruce and Mr. Shepard said that restitution was about more just than their family. They pointed to the long history of racism in the United States, and to stories of Black people being robbed of their land or the fruits of their labor.

This is the part of the history of Black Americans that the Right, from Trump to Koch to their toadies in the Intellectual Dark Web seek to erase by attacking the 1619 project.

It is especially an issue for the Intellectual Dark Web because the IDW is a group of people who are almost all proponents of race science, from Steven Pinker to Stefan Molyneux. In order to justify the claims of race science, that the Black failure to thrive in the United States after the days of slavery was due to the innate lower intelligence and higher criminality of Black genetics, the IDW seeks to erase knowledge of systemic racism - or, as Steven Pinker's pal Razib Khan scoffs "systemic racism."

Black families were not only terrorized by night riders in the South during Jim Crow - they were thwarted in every possible way from accumulating wealth thanks to a national system of racism, or as one might call it, systemic racism.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Meet FAIR - the organization full of Trump supporters, Koch employees and race science promoters

I recently got a heads-up from someone on Twitter that the Right has a new grift - FAIR, the "Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism."

Trump-lover Chris Rufo claimed on Twitter that FAIR is a coalition of liberals, moderates, and conservatives in defense of the American principles of free expression, civil rights, and equality under the law, but the Board of Advisors in fact skews very heavily to the right.

There are thirty-one Advisors, and eleven of them are associated with a Koch-funded organization (AEI, City Journal, FIRE, Spiked), seven of them are authors for the race science-promoting Quillette (some are both Koch and Quillette) and almost all the rest are associated with right-wing organizations and causes, including at least two hard-core Trump supporters.

There are probably more right-wing and race science connections that I missed. I will update the  connections of the FAIR Board of Advisors as I discover them.

It looks like another example of wingnut welfare, along with the sleazy IDW campaign to brand right-wing race science as "liberal" and is most likely funded at least in part by Charles Koch, who is already funding a third of the Advisors.

I guess James Your Mom Lindsay really is in the IDW/Quillette doghouse since his two fellow grifters Boghossian and Pluckrose made the team but he didn't.

Left to right, top to bottom:

1. Ayyan Hirsi Ali - right-wing anti-Muslim and on the Koch payroll via the American Enterprise Institute. Named member of the Intellectual Dark Web.

2. Peter Boghossian - right-wing grifter, recently attacked Pinkerite's founder, has the possible distinction of appearing as a guest more than anybody else on racist Stephan Molyneux's show. Quillette author. Business partner of Christian nationalist right-wing extremist Michael O'Fallon.

3. Liang-Fang Chao - "Computer Scientist" - Koch/Quillette/race science, rightwing connections unknown.

4. Melissa Chen - Quillette supporter.  UPDATE: writer for conservative The Spectator, Managing Director of Ideas Beyond Borders, which has, on its board of directors - inevitably - Steven Pinker.

5. Daryl Davis -  Trump supporter.  Not a Trump supporter, I was wrong about that. It's disturbing that Davis has lent his legitimately good-guy persona to FAIR which is full of rightwingers and race pseudoscience supporters and Koch-funded hacks.

6. Andrew Doyle - talentless right-wing satirist, paid by Koch to run the Spiked "Unsafe Space Tour."

7. Lisa Feldsher - runs a PR firm with many corporate clients. Koch/Quillette/race science, rightwing connections unknown.

8. Kmele Foster - right-wing, anti Black Lives Matter, on the advisory council of the Koch-funded FIRE.

9. Tim van Gelder - "entrepreneur, philosopher" - Koch/Quillette/race science, rightwing connections unknown.

10. Samantha Harris - contributor at the Federalist Society, Senior Fellow at the Koch-funded FIRE. Connected to Maud Maron somehow. Author at Quillette. Lawyer of Joshua T. Katz, member of the Academic Freedom Alliance.

11. Jason D. Hill - self-declared conservative, Ayn Rand fan and author at the far-right Federalist. Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, founded by right-wing extremist David Horowitz.

12. Nathan Hoffman - Republican operative working against the public school system.

13. Coleman Hughes - Koch employee via City Journal, Quillette author, apologist for race science.

14. Zaid Jilani - former left-winger and author at Quillette.

15. Megyn Kelly - known for saying Santa Claus and Jesus were white when she was a star at Fox.

16. Alexander Lloyd - fan of Quillette and members of the IDW,  Bitcoin bro.

17. Glenn Loury - right-wing, Quillette author, Koch-funded.

18. Maud Maron - called a racist by the Black Attorneys of Legal Aid

19. John McWhorter - author at Quillette, supported by Koch at AEI and City Journal.

20. Steven Pinker. Of course.

21. Helen Pluckrose - grifter, cozy with right-wing Christian nationalist extremists Sovereign Nations, anti-feminist. Interviewed and heavily promoted by Quillette.

22. Robert Pondescioauthor at The Federalist, fan of the work of Charles Murray.

23. Wilfred Reilly - conservative author at far-right Regnery Publishing.

24. Ian Rowe - Koch employee via AEI.

25. Chris Rufo - rabidly pro-Trump, Koch employee via City Journal.

26. Michael Shermer - named member of the Intellectual Dark Web, creep.

27. Abigail Shrier - Quillette author, rabidly anti-trans.

28. Eli Steele - Quillette author, Koch employee via City Journal.

29. Andrew Sullivan - right-winger, promoted The Bell Curve, race science promoter.

30. Bari Weiss - right-winger, promoter of the Intellectual Dark Web and pals with same.

31. Thomas Chatterton Williams - chateau bouncer, Koch employee via AEI

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Peterson's back and attacking a woman journalist

Although, thanks to Bari Weiss, Jordan Peterson is indisputably a member of the Intellectual Dark Web, I haven't written much about him here at Pinkerite since he pretty much imploded during the height of his fame, as explained by Helen Lewis in the latest issue of The Atlantic:

One day in early 2020, Jordan B. Peterson rose from the dead. The Canadian academic, then 57, had been placed in a nine-day coma by doctors in a Russian clinic, after becoming addicted to benzodiazepines, a class of drug that includes Xanax and Valium. The coma kept him unconscious as his body went through the terrible effects of withdrawal; he awoke strapped to the bed, having tried to rip out the catheters in his arms and leave the intensive-care unit.

 Lewis had previously been targeted by the Peterson cult.

Our interview for British GQ, which has garnered more than 23 million views, is easily the most viral moment I’ve ever had. While dozens of acquaintances emailed and texted me to praise my performance and compare Peterson’s stern affect to Hannibal Lecter with a Ph.D., mean comments piled up like a snowdrift below the video itself. I was “biased and utterly intellectually bankrupt,” “dishonest and malicious,” and “like a petulant child who walked into an adult conversation.” What kind of man, several wondered, would marry a dumb, whiny, shrill feminist like this? (Quite a nice one, thanks for asking.)

But we know that Peterson is back because he is now trying to get his cult to go after Lewis. Again.

In other misogynist news, Alek Minassian was found guilty today for driving a van into a crowded sidewalk in Toronto and killing 10 people in 2018.

The judge rejected the defense's argument that he couldn't help himself because he has autism.

He was angry at God because women were rejecting him,” Mr. Peterson says of the Toronto killer. “The cure for that is enforced monogamy. That’s actually why monogamy emerges.”

Mr. Peterson does not pause when he says this. Enforced monogamy is, to him, simply a rational solution. Otherwise women will all only go for the most high-status men, he explains, and that couldn’t make either gender happy in the end.

“Half the men fail,” he says, meaning that they don’t procreate. “And no one cares about the men who fail.”

I laugh, because it is absurd.

“You’re laughing about them,” he says, giving me a disappointed look. “That’s because you’re female.”

But aside from interventions that would redistribute sex, Mr. Peterson is staunchly against what he calls “equality of outcomes,” or efforts to equalize society. He usually calls them pathological or evil.

He agrees that this is inconsistent. But preventing hordes of single men from violence, he believes, is necessary for the stability of society. Enforced monogamy helps neutralize that.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Trouble in IDW Land

 In a typical display of IDW civility, we see Quillette founder Claire Lehmann calling James Lindsay "retarded."

It's true that Lindsay is a laughable oaf who followed up his book (co-authored with non-tenure track assistant professor of philosophy Peter Boghossian) urging civility by mindlessly retorting variations on "your mom" on Twitter and then worshipping opposite-of-civility Donald Trump.

But Lehmann is a rightwing creep too.

They are all just awful.

James Lindsay and his golden idol at CPAC 2021.

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